Time Frame Expectations in Real Estate Image Editing
Real estate photo editing is always in a race against time. We cannot blame this fact because it contributes to a million- or even billion-dollar industry. Clients would always expect the fastest turnaround time or ask for a time frame when they can expect their photos to be sent to them. This is totally okay and normally plays around 1-2 business days from the shoot. The thing is though, an understanding of what happens can help photographers manage time better especially in real estate image editing. It is also important to know how you can make sure that the customer is happy without the need to compromise at your end. After all, real estate photo editing is an eco-system of mutual need and support, and this drives the entire business to function along with other aspects.
What are the Contributors to Lead Times?
Lead times, time frame, turnaround times, these are all synonymous terms to describe how long it will take before you can get the job done and hand it over to your client. Real estate image editing to other people may seem like something that can be done in a jiffy, but the truth is the work that goes into it takes time. Being aware of those activities can help you identify which segments might be holding everything up and more importantly, being wary of risks and possible hold-ups at specific stages will help you plan against them.
The photo shoot
It might be baffling to some how the photo shoot alone can be the bottleneck when the bulk of the work is in real estate photo editing. Let’s walk this through. The time it takes too complete photo shoots at property sites depend on the property size. Some will definitely be bigger than others and some will have more spots to feature. Thinking about the location of the site, travel can also be a factor that eats time. Even if you arrive early at a shoot, the commute back to your workstation can be different and delay the entire process.
A pile-up of clients
More clients mean better business for photographers, but real estate image editing does take time. A rushed process can lead to an ugly outcome and as they say, garbage in is garbage out. Try and have a sense of your own capacity and commitments before inking that next gig. Think about any possible conflicts or overlaps that may occur as a result of overbooking. It might be easier said that done but most people can find faster methods to real estate photo editing so they continuously accept bookings.
Unexpected hardware and software outages
The most frustrating thing that could happen is an interruption in work. Real estate image editing relies on technology and utilities in order to execute. Computers require power sources, and some may even require a stable internet connection to transfer photos through the cloud. While these are less likely to happen, it is always good to have back up plans as not to frustrate yourself.
Our lives are not merely dedicated to work. There are aspects of our personal lives that we enjoy the most such as spending time with people and having our own time to ourselves. Real estate photo editing though, should not be compromised as a result of poor time management. A commitment made to a client must be done within knowledge of your own personal commitments and letting them down could spell bad news for your professional reputation.
How to Make Sure Time Frames are Met
With all the things that require juggling, fortunately there are ways to ensure that photographers are able to balance real estate image editing and client requirements together with their personal commitments. More than methods, there are tools available and services that can be of help to expand capacity without the need to slave over long hours just to get one project done after the other.
Try to consider working mobile and remotely
Working remotely means that you can set up shop anywhere. You have your laptop with you or perhaps a tablet, a stable data plan so you can connect to the internet anytime anywhere. These are just some of the suggestions that can cut the time spent commuting and travelling. Imagine being able to upload your photos on site right after the photo shoot and looking for the nearest coffee shop to start your work. This can make real estate photo editing happen immediately after the shoot and save time in the process.
Consider outsourcing the editing
Outsourcing is never a bad thing. It provides additional capacity at affordable prices and even allows you to get more clients and make all the real estate image editing happen simultaneously. All you have to do is make sure you are equipped with the tools that allow you to immediately send the photos to the outsourced service you have contracted so their turnaround time can start rolling. Outsourced real estate image editing services will of course have their own lead times and quirks to work with. But being a service, they have commitments as well to photographers who are their clients and will have the resources enough to pull through with the committed time frame.
Consider Automation and AI
Automation is the creation of an easier set of steps based on a collective and sequential set of actions using computer aided software. Artificial intelligence or AI is the ability of the software to suggest and execute commends based on what it has learned and will continue to learn. Either way, both provide a consolidation of commands and present themselves as easy to execute steps. They even sometimes come in batch processing modules where photographers can simultaneously process enhancements of photos to save time.
There is no doubt that time is money. When real estate clients demand a speedy service, it means that there is a lot of money on the line. As photographers, we must understand that more than what drives clients to expect quick time frames, we must know how our internal ways of working are in order to improve and find ways to meet their needs. It is not enough to keep within a small circle of clients without exploring other avenues of working to increase capacity and speed. Building your name in the world of real estate photography and real estate image editing must start with your ambition to expand and in the process, know how to tweak your work to fit the required time frames.